4 years ago

ALE81: 7 Quick Takes #34

I hope everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving, and happy Advent!
This is a much overdue 7 Quick Takes with Jen Fulwiler at Conversion Diary.  It’s ALE81.  A. Late. One.  yeah. Kentucky ginger ale? No?


My Dad’s interview of his conversion story with EWTN’s Journey Home hosted by Marcus Grodi is airing TODAY! TONIGHT- at 8pm.  

If you have cable, it’s on EWTN. If you don’t have cable but have internet, you can watch it online, HERE.

I invite everyone to come back tonight and comment under this post telling me what about my Dad’s story was most fascinating to you!

Phil Journey home2
Photo courtesy of my Momma

And just effwhyeye: one might gain more valuable life wisdomz by watching my Dad’s interview than showing a greater interest in a movie which was recently filmed in our hometown, which apparently, leaves were ripped off of trees in the area just for the film, and oh, how much more exciting is that.

Oh, movies.  The stuff life is made of. 

There is an excellent chance this will be the recurrent theme for my posts This Advent.


ADVENT!  It has begun! It’s becoming confusing to explain to our boys, as everyone only ever mentions “presents”.

Lexington:  Mom, it’s Summer time!  That means PRESENTS!!!
Carolyn: Okay, Lexington, no. First of all it’s winter time.  Second of all, just because it’s winter does not mean you’re getting presents.
Lexington: Well, that’s what DisneyJR says!
Carolyn: Well, DisneyJR gets a lot of things wrong. It’s fun to watch, but DisneyJR doesn’t know a lot of things.
Lexington: But WHY, Mom? WHY don’t they know?

Today, for example, DisneyJR knows how to babysit reeeelgud, while I struggle to breathe without feeling like I’m inhaling glass shards and feel like my head is full of cotton and my thinking is .01 mile an hour. But I sense some serious intervention or sensoring of commercials or something ridiculous in the future, because I can’t teach my children one thing, and then allow them to gawk at a screen which tells us Santa is real and will give you free stuff if you just believe hard enough and utter the words “Abra-ca…..”  (I promise I believe in imagination and fairytales, but I believe a clear distinction should be learned between make-believe and the spiritual life of Christianity. Part of my difficulty in being a Christian as a young girl lied in confusing the reality of the two and thinking that they were both equal.)

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Our very first Advent Wreath, may it last 48 hours.

Advent is the spiritual preparation for Christmas Day and the subsequent season.  Catholics do not end Christmas season on Christmas day and think of it no more, in fact, Christmas Day is the beginning of the season.

During the month leading up to Christmas Day, we prepare for the joy of the arrival of our Newborn King and contemplate the realization that “the word became flesh and dwelt among us.” I mean, really contemplate.  Jen Fulwiler hosted a bloggy link up a few years back in which each blogger contemplated and wrote about EACH individual word of the Our Father. Talk about preparation.

Why, if Christ was already born and died and raised, are we using December to act as if He hasn’t been born yet?

Because it helps to study Christ’s history.  We study the stories of the Bible, and reflect in prayer on how we can better know Him.  Each year, each season, and each celebration, I discover something new, whether it be about myself or about God’s love and purpose for me.
But that’s Christianity, isn’t it? It’s not a *snap* “Hey I’m a Christian!  I know it all!”
Christianity is a life long mountain climb. Sometimes it might feel like we are struggling to climb to Jesus by the hour, while some days we feel like we hopped on that really fast elevator in a Chicago building I went to that one time (Sears, maybe?). For me, most days, I’m wounded soldier-ing it.

Year round, we prepare to celebrate these different events in Christ’s life (just as we go to great lengths to prepare for a big family meal) so that we may be renewed in our remembrance, reflections, and grow deeper in love with our Savior, having greater joy on the day of celebration.  It’s a full immersion into Christianity, not just a one or two times a year party that someone throws for us at the last minute. Celebrations are much better when planned for. We’re prepping and throwing this celebration for Jesus.  He is the only reason for this season. DisneyJR doesn’t talk about that.
So that’s Advent.


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On full display (we usually store away baby Jesus and the Magi for the appropriate celebration days)

Hobby Lobby sells lots of little Nativity crafty things.  If you’re not near a Christian store, or are like me and need to see things in person before purchasing, Hobby Lobby gots the gudz. We found a children’s nativity playset which I appreciate because the fancy one my Mom and Dad got us is a source of anxiety when I see my bumbling little heads and grubby fingers pawing the delicate, hand crafted stable and figurines.

—OKAY I just stopped spell-checking before I post this to change diapers.  Okay that’s norm, and you might be asking, “You actually edit your posts? Are you sure? cause…”

What isn’t norm is that when I called Emmett over for his turn, I kissed him on his belly. I am crying as I type: he took his pacifier out of his mouth so that he could kiss me on mine (sick breath and all). three times in a row he has done something he has never in his little life done before.

For him to:

A.) understand that I gave him a kiss
B.) Display an understanding that kisses go on mouths
C.) imitate, but in a proper manner (instead of trying to kiss his own belly, or trying to kiss my belly)

is a huge, huge thing.
Oh, nothing else I write matters now. Thank you, Lord, for that sweeter than any earthly treasure of a consolation. I will hold that close to my heart forever. My little boy gave me a kiss. three.


I’ve been mentally unpacking and unpacking and UNPACKING Emmett’s condition all week.  For the newcomer to this blog, Emmett has been undergoing evaluations for about 6 months (?) for Autism Spectrum Disorder, and in a few weeks, he will receive an official diagnosis– though at this point, Craig and I do not need one, other than to have it for his medical records.
I’m planning on dedicating a weekly post about our realizations and what we’ve come to understand about Autism, or any related disorders.  There’s so much to know, and so little of the world has taken the time to know it.  I plan to
  • Introduce Autism in a simple way
  • Discuss how we can interact with children who have/might have Autism
  • Talk about opening ourselves as a culture to seeing Autism in a positive light
  • Dispel the myths and common prejudices about Autism.

How can I possibly know all of these things? Well… I guess you’ll have to find out.  I hope to post the first of the Autism Series this week.

Bumper sticker
I spotted this while shopping over the weekend and for the first time understood why someone would put it on their car, and exactly what “Autism Awareness” is. It’s for the sake of the children of parents who might not know the signs of Autism.


 ‘Tis merely a cold I believe I have, yet the world might as well be ending. And that really stinks because I didn’t go to Mass this morning.

After having children, when you get sick, it’s bad.  It’s not sitting in bed all cozy with a cup of tea and box of kleenex all day.  No, mom still has to perform at full throttle.
Babies have no handle on how not to use shrill, earsplitting screams and not expect mom to hop to it when they need their sippy cup filled with diluted juice.

Also, an un-sick mom’s spidey senses can hear a person hacking and sneezing a mile away, behind closed doors, stifled under the sound of a piano and full choir belting out a heavenly tune.
*hack hack haaaack*

So when I’m feeling ill, I avoid public venues for the sakes of the other spidey moms and her healthy children. How noble of me.
Okay, well that, and there’s the small consideration that going to Mass feeling ill, PLUS wrangling in 3 boys 4 years old and under …is just recipe for mutiny.  Even with Craig present.

Who’s the main rebel but the tiniest one, 3 foot, anarchical Collin John Paul-turn-on-all-reachable-faucets-in-the-house-and-run-amok.


These Scones. From shewearsmanyhats blog.  I may or mayprobably have eaten 85% of the batch I just baked over the weekend.  Paint me a scone convert cause I usta not likey. Adding a crunchy Sugar in the Raw topping = Super Likey.



Can anyone recommend where I can find tunics?  A tunic is a longer shirt which covers the fanny, but not a dress, and worn with leggings or skinny pants.  Like so:

Prefer long sleeve or 3/4ths length. Do not prefer hanging open neckline.

I first time Black Friday shopped (Monsters University = teeeeeuhn dolla.) and was hoping to score a few nice tops to wear with leggings for the rest of my life.

Leggings are everywhere.
Regular length tops are everywhere.
Unfortunately, ladies wearing leggings (basically opaque tights) with tops that do not conceal the loosely flapping about buttox as they waltz by are also EVERYWHERE.
How is this okay?


They are so comfortable, and so easy to pair with anything.  YET, I can’t blame the floppy ladies entirely, no one seems to sell shirts/tunics to accommodate!
I have a scarce few, so I know they’re out there, BUT WHERE!? I recently tried Gap and JCrew (my favorites) but IF there was a tunic, the neckline was so open and loose and low cut, it traded covering a  backend for exposing the top end.
What’s that, you say? Try wearing a habit?  I just might end up there.

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